How do people answer questions about the inner workings of machines after studying illustrated texts?


The paper investigates the procedures subjects used to answer questions about machines after learning about the inner workings of the machines from texts and pictures. The goal of this research is to understand the role played by texts and illustrations when subjects construct mental models of machines. A second goal is to understand the mechanisms of question answering. Each question referred to a particular event from the causal event chain. Four types of questions were asked: why did event X occur?, how did X occur?, what are the consequences of X occurring?, and what if X didn't occur?.

Publication Title

Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society

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